Love her or hate her, Rose Flaminiano has seemingly become part of Filipinos' breakfast fare nowadays courtesy of her rift with talent Gabby Concepcion.
She is in the news menu every week, and that's not even a complaint but a simple fact brought about by the court case she had filed against ward Gabby and, recently, her heated exchange with former actress Nadia Montenegro.
Her visibility has come to a point that this question is begging to be asked: Who is Rose Flaminiano?
"Hubo," she uttered. "Hubo ang first na prinoduce ko starring Maria Isabel Lopez. Sa Film Center pa ito. [Kasi] nung pumasok ako nung pagpo-produce, bold era noon—yung mga sexy era. Kaya puro sexy ang pino-produce [kahit] ng Regal and Seiko, kasi nung time na yun, ‘di ka pwedeng mag-produce no'n ng drama-drama, mga R-18 ang hanap ng mga tao nun."
To sum it up, Rose Flaminiano or Mommy Rose as she would later be referred to, started out in the industry as a producer of bold films. "Before that, sa taxi business ako. Nagkataon lang dahil may mga kaibigan ako na nagsabi mag-produce daw ako. Sinuwerte naman."
She cited that her entry was in 1984. And her outfit, the FLT Films International, reigned supreme, "Kay [Pres.] Cory Aquino na nun. And sa MTRCB [Movie and Television Review and Classification Board] nung sa akin, si [Henrietta] Mendez and si [Manoling] Morato."
She stressed that there was nothing like making movies—and money—then. "Lucrative? Yes, yes. ‘Di katulad ngayon wala na talaga."
"Noon, we were spending, malaki na yung Ph 600,000. Ang balik nun 2 to 3 million pesos. Yung Hubo nga lang, Ph 600,000 lang ang linabas ko pero dun pa lang sa Film Center, Ph 5.7 million na ang kita," she added.
Aside from Hubo, Mommy Rose recalled other ‘bomba' films that were produced by FLT like: "Amanda, Hot Lips, Bernadette, marami pa at marami ang mga sexy [stars] nun, na wala na ngayon." Asked their names, she replied: "Naku nakalimutan ko na...kasi noon, they come and go. The more na bago ang artista, the more gusto nila. ‘Pag nakita na nila ng tatlong beses, ayaw na nila... I made [siguro] mga 30 sexy films... dyan lang ako kumita. Mas maganda ang kitahan nun... hanggang ‘90s ito. Until Bingbong Crisologo..."
She specifically mentioned The Bingbong Crisologo Story because the said movie marked FLT Films' turn towards more script and critique-conscious films. There are, of course, other movies which FLT had produced that touched on other genres: political satire in 1991's Mongolian Barbecue, starring Eric Quizon and Jun Urbano; comedy in 1994's Swindler's List, with Leo Martinez and Nino Muhlach; horror in Tabi Tabi Po (2001) starring Angelica Panganiban and Antoinette Taus; and a try at drama/ action/ love story in the Robin Padilla-Kris Aquino starrer, You and Me Against the World in 2003.
But what Ms Flaminiano noted were the ones near her heart: "Yung Bingbong Crisologo Story, yung kay Rudy Fernandez...That was 1990. And then Epimaco Velasco, yung kay Fernando Poe Jr. in 1995. 'Tapos may Chop-Chop Lady, Secret Love, Tatak ng Kriminal, Anak ng Pasig, marami pa, marami."
Being very upfront, she revealed, "'Yung kay Jericho Rosales and Bea Alonzo, yung Manny Pacquiao story [Pacquiao: The Movie]. It didn't do well. Zero! Siguro I lost 25 million [pesos]. This was 2006."
"Ngayon talagang," commenting on the film industry, "Wala na, ano na siya talaga, nakakahiya man sabihin pero... [The film industry] it's dying."
So is she closing her doors to producing yet again?
"Hindi naman," she denied. "Kaya lang nakikita ko mahirap na. Mahirap." But her love for challenges makes it difficult for her to abandon her producer's hat.
A self-confessed workaholic, Rose Flaminiano insisted that her life is almost all work and no play. "Masyadong trabaho to the point na pag-uwi ko sa bahay, tulog na lang 'tapos kinaumagahan, trabaho ulit kaya no time for [fun]."
"Kaya nga hindi exciting ang buhay ko, eh. Trabaho lang," she said. "Pero ngayon, lately, nung ginawa ko yung Manny Pacquiao, nagkaroon [kasi] ako ng Casino Filipino, eh. Kasi may binigay sa ‘ming sponsorship [ang Casino Filipino] so trinay ko. Natuto ako ng slot machine... Pero never ako umupo sa mga tables ha. Hindi naman ako na-addict. Paminsan minsan [lang]..."
She insisted: "Wala akong bisyo. I don't drink, I don't smoke, hindi ako nakikibarkada."
A mother of four and a grandmother of two, she was proud to note that her kids are all doing well and are okay with their lives. Her eldest is 37 years old, "Si Roderick, tapos nun si Lizette, 35, and then si Marivic, 30 years old, and then si Ed who's 25." Her grandchildren are named Kevin, who's in high school already, and Seven, who's two.
She added that her kids, some of whom are in the U.S., have 9-5 jobs. "Mas gusto nila yung they work eight hours a day, 'tapos with overtime. Masaya na sila dun."
Mommy Rose also wears the "wife" cap, being the better half of practicing lawyer, Ed Flaminiano.
And this workaholic has other business ventures. "I have a housing, I have three subdivisions...developer ako." Her properties, which she said are all doing well, are called Rosmond. "Tatlo ‘yan, lahat ‘yan Rosmond 1, 2, 3. Yung dalawa 'asa Tarlac City, yung isa, sa tabi ng Fort Ilocandia. Lahat ‘yan, all in all, ang total ay 15 hectares."
But of course, the title that has put her in the map of most Filipinos is her being manager to Gabby Concepcion. What is so ironic about the fact is that, she did not really pursue the role to begin with.
"[Sa] housing naman ako [talaga] until finally, that was October 2007, buhay pa si Rudy [Fernandez] no'n, we were in Hawaii with Lorna [Tolentino]. Nung nandun kame sa isang restaurant sa Hawaii, nakita ko si Gabby. Na-amaze ako sa kanya. Guwapo pa rin siya. So sabi ko, ‘Gabby', niyaya ko siya... ‘Gusto mo bang gawa tayo ng movie sa Pilipinas?' Sabi niya, ‘Ayoko na mommy natu-trauma ako'. Sabi ko, ‘Naku tama ka na nga, kita mo, nagsusumigaw ang pelikula sa yo'. 'Tapos lumambot siya sabi niya, ‘Talaga, gusto mo?' Sabi ko, ‘Gusto ko.'"
And that started her relationship with the actor.
But the hubbub surrounding her now is not actually a first for Mommy Rose. In the past, she had figured in showbiz issues involving Rudy Fernandez, Judy Ann Santos, and Manny Pacquiao. The cause: Money. In the case of Rudy and Juday, Rose reportedly owes them some talent fees. For Manny's part, the producer-manager allegedly borrowed a hefty sum from the wife.
Setting aside the issues which had been hurled at her, Rose Flaminiano said that what she simply dreams of is "Bawasan ang trabaho."
She said that not a lot of people know who the real Rose Flaminiano is, what her dreams are, her frustrations. "Ako, tapat ako makipagkaibigan," she tried describing herself. "Pero ‘pag nagalit ako, yun na, galit na ako. Kasi parang end to end ako. ‘Pag mahal kita, mahal kita, kahit ano pa, wala akong pakialam kahit sino ka pa. Pero ‘pag nagalit ako parang you don't exist anymore. Ganun lang talaga ugali ko."
Love her or hate her, these days, we can't really help but have her in our living rooms via our TV sets. She is Rose Flaminiano—businesswoman, producer, and controversial personality in showbiz.